Dr. Sameh Aboul-Enein Minister Plenipotentiary and Deputy Head of Mission of Egypt to the UK

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1 Dr. Sameh Aboul-Enein Minister Plenipotentiary and Deputy Head of Mission of Egypt to the UK Centre for Energy and Security Studies 2010 Moscow Nonproliferation Conference March 4 th - 6 th, 2010 Please check against delivery 1

2 Let me begin on a personal note by saying that I am really delighted to be back in Moscow for the first time since my posting here 20 years ago. In this respect I wish to extend my thanks and deep appreciation to Dr. Anton Khlopkov, the Director of the Centre for Energy and Security Studies, and his team for inviting me to participate in my personal and academic capacity to discuss the NPT review conference and the central issue of the M.E Nuclear free zone. 1. The NPT and the 2010 Review Conference The NPT remains the only international instrument that not only seeks to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons but that also embodies a firm legal commitment to eliminate these weapons. In 2000, the nuclear powers made an unequivocal undertaking to eliminate their nuclear arsenals, and all parties adopted a practical plan for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament. However, this practical commitment still has not seen the light at the end of the tunnel. The 2010 NPT Review Conference represents a real window of opportunity to build on previous commitments - and to take concrete steps to achieve progress towards a nuclear weapon free world. The responsibility to achieve that lies with all of us - nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states. The preparatory meetings suggest there is a real willingness on the part of many members to strengthen the treaty. At this juncture, it is worth recalling that key successes included South Africa's historic decision to dismantle its nuclear weapons and join the Treaty, decisions by Brazil and Argentina to roll back their nuclear programmes and create a bilateral verification agency, and the decisions by Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine to transfer nuclear weapons back to Russia after they seceded from the Soviet Union. The actions by these states to give up nuclear programmes and weapons deserve greater recognition and acknowledgment, for they set an excellent example for other states with weapons and military nuclear programmes to follow. 2

3 For this purpose, the NPT should be strengthened and ideas on its institutional development should be well considered. 2.The New Agenda Coalition More than ten years ago, the foreign ministers of seven countries - Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden - joined together to form the New Agenda Coalition to give fresh impetus to the efforts to achieve progress in nuclear disarmament. The need for such energy is as strong as ever today and is increasing by the minute. We need a revitalized New Agenda Coalition to work closely with the nuclear weapon states to accelerate the implementation of agreed practical steps and to identify the critical challenges facing us today.. The New Agenda Coalition campaigns for the world envisaged by the NPT a world in which nuclear weapons have no role. Its philosophy is that the world will be safe only when nuclear weapons are eliminated and we can be sure they will never be produced or used again. The New Agenda Coalition calls for the universality of the NPT. The Review conference will need to address this. 3.The Middle East Let us now turn our attention to the Middle-East. The Middle East should be in the heart and centre of all this nuclear disarmament effort and activity, because it is particularly vulnerable to nuclear proliferation. The 1995 Resolution on the Middle East adopted by the NPT Review and Extension Conference recognized the region's special status, as did the Final Document of the 2000 NPT Review Conference. Insofar as it pertains to the NPT, particularly its review, implementation and universality, the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East focused on achieving the following clear objectives: 3

4 The establishment of a nuclear free zone in the Middle East. The accession to the NPT by states in the region that have not yet done so. The placement of all nuclear facilities in the Middle East under fullscope IAEA safeguards. Fifteen years have elapsed since the adoption of the 1995 resolution and little progress has been made. It is very clear that impetus must be given to this agenda or the faith of states in the region for the non-proliferation regime will suffer. The regime cannot afford a loss of faith, and we cannot afford to lose the regime. I support the suggestion that the Review Conference should decide to appoint a Special Coordinator or a standing committee whose role would be to oversee implementation of the resolution. This will help to build confidence that this objective - so central to the indefinite extension of the NPT in is being taken seriously. Such a Coordinator or a standing committee could be tasked with facilitating a route to constructive dialogue in the framework of the 1995 Middle East resolution and to begin practical steps to convene an International Conference in the Middle East under UN auspices to address a zone free of nuclear weapons in the Middle East with the objective of establishing a legally-binding, internationally and effectively-verifiable treaty for such a zone. Although this would just be a start, significant wider beneficial consequences can be envisaged. It is important to recall that the 2000 NPT review conference urged all states not yet party to the treaty, to accede to the treaty as non nuclear weapon states promptly and without condition, particularly those states that operate un-safeguarded nuclear facilities. The 2000 NPT conference reaffirmed the importance of Israel s accession to the NPT and the placement of all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards in realizing the goal of universal adherence to the treaty in the M.E. Looking forward from here, universality of the NPT is critical to regional and global security, because states remaining outside the Treaty fundamentally weaken it by undermining the benefits of membership for their neighbours and by maintaining nuclear 4

5 programmes that constitute a continuing nuclear danger to their neighbours and the rest of the world. For 2010, the Review Conference should seriously consider establishing an NPT Universality Adherence Support unit to consult everyone and address directly the mechanisms that will bring states outside the treaty into the NPT as non-nuclear-weapon states. The Review Conference should call for the convening by early 2011 of an international conference to launch negotiations with participation of all States of the Middle East on an internationally and effectively verifiable treaty for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East; The Review Conference should further request the IAEA to prepare background documentation for the above-mentioned conference regarding the modalities for verification of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, based upon the work previously undertaken by the Agency relating to the establishment of the zone, and the implementation of similar international agreements establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones in other regions. 4. The Nuclear Zero For the vision of zero to be credible, the permanent members of the UN Security Council should take the lead at an early stage both at the international and regional level including the Middle East. We have recently seen the link between disarmament and non-proliferation explicitly acknowledged by several key statesmen in the US and Russia - this is to be warmly welcomed. 5

6 Success in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons depends at some fundamental level on the ability to make a credible and compelling argument that they are neither necessary nor desirable, that whatever advantages they confer are outweighed by the costs. It is difficult to sustain this argument when the large and powerful states that possess nuclear weapons proclaim that such weapons provide crucial security benefits. The ideal normative environment for promoting non-proliferation is one in which nuclear weapons are universally regarded to be illegal, illegitimate, and immoral. That is, to inhibit nuclear proliferation it is desirable not only to devalue nuclear weapons but also to delegitimize them. We must keep the momentum generated by the NPT Review Conference. We must keep our eyes on the goal - the elimination of nuclear weapons and the assurance that they will never be produced or used again. This will require the active negotiation of a nuclear weapons convention, as called for by the UN General Assembly, and recently endorsed by the UN Secretary General. This is the logical conclusion to the current campaigns for global zero, and all states including the ones in the Middle East need to engage seriously with this project. Finally, the time has come for serious people from all political perspectives to engage in thoughtful, transparent negotiations with the clear objectives of ending potential proliferation and eliminating nuclear weapons, working towards an agreed target date. To abolish nuclear weapons, leadership by the United States and Russia is imperative in this respect. The Conference on Disarmament (CD) also has a special role that it can play in nuclear disarmament. It is a unique forum that includes the P-5 plus the non-npt members. It should immediately establish an appropriate subsidiary body with a mandate to deal with nuclear disarmament at both the international and regional level. Almost a year ago, in a speech in Prague, the president of the United States reconfirmed his intention to seek a nuclear-weapons-free world. In Cairo two months later, President Obama defused the charge of double standards that has been levelled at the nuclear-weapons states throughout the 40-year history of the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and he said I 6

7 quote: No nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons. End of quote. The Middle East is no exception in this respect. Any Double standards will only produce instability, noncompliance and encourage those who seek to challenge the NPT regime itself, and that will only increase the risk of conflict and nuclear proliferation. It is time to implement the 1995 M.E. resolution to get out of the present bottleneck. Thank you Sameh 7

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